Different spirals of sameness: A study of content sharing in mainstream and alternative media

Benjamin D. Horne, Jeppe Nørregaard, Sibel Adalı

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Abstract

In this paper, we analyze content sharing between news sources in the alternative and mainstream media using a dataset of 713K articles and 194 sources. We find that content sharing happens in tightly formed communities, and these communities represent relatively homogeneous portions of the media landscape. Through a mix-method analysis, we find several primary content sharing behaviors. First, we find that the vast majority of shared articles are only shared with similar news sources (i.e. same community). Second, we find that despite these echo-chambers of sharing, specific sources, such as The Drudge Report, mix content from both mainstream and conspiracy communities. Third, we show that while these differing communities do not always share news articles, they do report on the same events, but often with competing and counter-narratives. Overall, we find that the news is homogeneous within communities and diverse in between, creating different spirals of sameness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Thirteenth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media
PublisherAssociation for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
Publication date1 Jan 2019
Pages257-266
ISBN (Print)978-1-57735-806-0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event13th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2019 - Munich, Germany
Duration: 11 Jun 201914 Jun 2019

Conference

Conference13th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2019
CountryGermany
CityMunich
Period11/06/201914/06/2019

Cite this

Horne, B. D., Nørregaard, J., & Adalı, S. (2019). Different spirals of sameness: A study of content sharing in mainstream and alternative media. In Proceedings of the Thirteenth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (pp. 257-266). Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.